Published: 16th October, 2020
Surrey County Cricket Club was saddened to hear of the recent passing of David Seward, Secretary of the Club from 1987 – 1992.
Below, Richard Spiller remembers David’s huge contributions to Surrey CCC.
It was to David Seward that fell the tricky task of being Surrey County Cricket Club’s 15th and final secretary.
A role created shortly after the club’s creation 175 years ago had been filled for a tumultuous decade by Ian Scott-Browne, admired by staff and members alike and a particularly difficult act to follow.
Seward’s arrival coincided with a particularly difficult time at The Oval. The wooden and ageing west wing of the pavilion needed to be demolished or the ground would lose its safety certificate, on which staging international cricket was dependent. No Tests, no future, was the stark predicament facing Surrey.
Raman Subba Row, chairman of the club’s management board and driving force off the field, devoted much attention to creating and overseeing the ‘Save The Oval’ appeal. Seward had to ensure the day to day administration ran smoothly while the funds were raised and construction – which was far from straightforward – of the Ken Barrington Centre and Bedser Stand took place over the following two years.
He had arrived at The Oval following spells as marketing manager of Nottinghamshire and secretary of Somerset.
The all-powerful days of former secretaries such as Geoffrey Howard had been reduced by structural changes within the club. David Watts, chairman of Surrey’s administration sub-committee, recalls: “David was always helpful and he was a very likeable man.”
Another former staff member described him as “very supportive”.
After his resignation in the autumn of 1992 – the role was amended and upgraded to chief executive – Seward fulfilled company secretary roles with Coombe Hill and Wyke Green golf clubs, Woking Football Club and the Kingfield Community Golf Centre before moving to Australia with his wife Barbara, who survives him along with their two children.
Music was one of his great passions and Seward was an accomplished organist, playing at the memorial service for Howard, held at St Mark’s Church, within sight of The Oval, in 2003.
He did much good work for the Friends of Cathedral Music and acted as the charity’s representative in Australia, greatly enjoying catching up with members and colleagues from Surrey days.